Response to mandatory face coverings in shops

Thursday, 16 July 2020
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said the health and safety of customers and staff is paramount and retailers will continue to follow the direction of government when it comes to the use of face coverings in shops. While business fully appreciates the important health considerations involved, there are also very significant staffing issues that arise, which need to be reflected in any new approach.

Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “When it comes to enforcement, it is crucial that it does not fall to retail staff to ensure compliance. With incidents of violence and abuse directed at retail staff unfortunately a regular occurrence, it is important that enforcement is left to the appropriate authorities. Retail staff should not be exposed to the potential disputes and discord that might arise.

“It is vital that there is flexibility when it comes to the application of any new rules for retail staff. Retailers have made enormous efforts to protect staff, who are working all day in retail settings, including putting in place screens around cash registers and counters. This needs to be reflected in the approach.”